Sheikh Zayed Mosque – The Exquisite White Mosque of the Middle East
Located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a magnificent architectural marvel of the UAE, attracting millions of visitors each year since its inauguration.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the third-largest mosque in the world. The entire complex covers an area of 22,412 square meters, equivalent to the size of four professional football fields.
Construction of this religious landmark began in 1996, but it took 12 years to complete. The total construction cost was announced to be nearly $545 million.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers at a time and holds three world records: the largest hand-woven carpet, the largest chandelier, and the largest dome.
The mosque is named after Sheikh Zayed, the first President of the UAE, who initiated the construction of this grand religious sanctuary. According to his wishes, his body was laid to rest in a mausoleum inside the mosque after his passing in 2004.
The architecture of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is of unparalleled beauty, meticulously designed to the smallest detail. The entire structure boasts a total of 1,096 exterior columns, 96 columns in the main prayer hall adorned with multiple layers of precious stones, and seven grand chandeliers plated with 24-carat gold, accompanied by millions of dazzling Swarovski crystals.
Inside the mosque, the walls are clad in white marble, exuding purity and elegance with intricate and graceful patterns. Besides its official name, it is also known as the “jewel atop the crown” of the United Arab Emirates.
In 2017, Sheikh Zayed Mosque welcomed 3.4 million tourists from around the world, especially Muslim pilgrims. During the same year, it was voted the second-favorite landmark by the reputable travel website TripAdvisor, surpassing St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Taj Mahal in India.
Famous personalities such as Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla have visited this renowned Middle Eastern destination. Renowned figures in the entertainment industry like supermodel Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber have also praised this exceptional architectural masterpiece during their visits.
Vietnamese celebrities, including Miss Universe Vietnam Pham Huong and singer Minh Hang, have also taken the time to explore this remarkable Middle Eastern architectural gem while attending the Arab Fashion Week. Both of them captured mesmerizing moments through their camera lenses.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open to the public free of charge from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily, except on Mondays when it opens at 4:30 PM. To gain a deeper understanding of the culture, religion, and grandeur of this place, visitors are advised to join the one-hour guided tour, available free of charge.
Moreover, the ideal time to capture stunning photos at Sheikh Zayed Mosque is during sunset. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for the 5:00 PM tour to experience the majestic ambiance of the mosque under the enchanting hues of twilight.
When visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque, it is mandatory to dress modestly. Women should wear attire that covers their arms, legs, and head, while men should wear long trousers. The mosque also provides complimentary traditional abayas for visitors who are not appropriately dressed. Additionally, all footwear must be left outside before entering. Therefore, if you prefer not to walk barefoot during the tour, remember to bring socks beforehand.